I was totally mopey as I drove myself and the Non-Student to my January happy hour at Top of the Hill. But as we exited my car and walked toward the bar, I checked my phone:
"Hey, hotness... Figured I'd try to get you out past 10 p.m. Want to come out and play Friday night?"
REJOICE!!! REJOICE!!! REJOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Non-Student joined me in jumping up and down excitedly and dancing around to a chant of "HATERS GONNA HATE! HATERS GONNA HATE!" as well as our patented rendition of Cee-Lo Green's "F**k You." (Anyone who has hung out with the two of us together has seen us split a bottle of wine then serenade each other with that foul-mouthed anthem. It's AWESOME.)
We bounded into my happy hour -- which was a TOTAL success, with a great turnout even in the face of a D.C. ice storm, thus proving yet again that my blog readers are just as big of lushes as I am -- and had a spectacular time!
I was increasingly giddy as the week wore on. I couldn't wait to get to Friday and see what the entrepreneur had in store for me...
... because like our second date, he didn't tell me beforehand what we were going to do. He merely gave me a time to be ready to be picked up and a suggestion of appropriate clothes to wear (this time, I went a funkier route with a short black dress, tall black boots and hot pink patterned tights -- I know it sounds weird but it looks cool!).
The entrepreneur was running late, so I uncorked a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and had a glass while I waited.
Finally, he arrived.
"So, I called a cab," he began to lay out the plans for the evening, "and we're going to 8th Street Southeast -- do you know it?"
"Oh, Barracks Row," I said as we walked toward the street. "Yeah, that's a fun little area."
It turned out that the entrepreneur had in mind drinks and dinner at Cava, a Mediterranean mezze joint. I'd never been there before, and I keep telling the entrepreneur how I like to experiment and try new places and cuisines, so it was a perfect destination. It's dark and romantic in there, and we sidled up to the bar for drinks while we waited for a table for dinner.
The entrepreneur and I started talking about our weeks -- he does this thing where he says "Let's play High-Low" and then asks what were the highlights and lowlights of your week. We went back and forth on that, as well as discussing a few things about how to make this blog better (if anyone out there knows anything about negotiating trademarks, let me know).
Additionally, he informed me that the delay in between our second date and his text to ask me for a third was because he'd programmed my number in his phone wrong and had been texting someone who is decidedly not me all weekend. So, that was good to know.
It was crowded in there, and only I was able to get a bar stool. The entrepreneur stood beside me, with his arm around me on the back of my chair.
So, I'd pre-gamed the date, and at this point it was about 9:30 p.m. I'd been drinking on an empty stomach for nearly two hours. I was pretty tipsy, and I wrapped my arm around his waist and pulled him closer to me.
At his back, tucked in to his pants and beneath his coat, there was a bunch of... paper? Of some sort? I wasn't sure what it was that I was feeling back there.
"I suppose you're wondering what that is," the entrepreneur said to me, reaching underneath his coat for the object.
Now, I assume you read the title of this particular blog entry. Up until this point, everything is normal, romantic, lovely. He's gotten us a cab, taken us to a nice restaurant, bought me a mango margarita and charmed me yet again with his debonair wit. And then he pulled out a large white envelope and handed it to me.
"Here, open this," he said. "This is where we're going tonight."
Readers, prepare yourself for that abrupt LEFT TURN: When I opened the envelope, I discovered it was the press materials for The Crucible, aka Washington, D.C.'s BDSM nightclub.
"Are you fucking serious?" I asked incredulously as I pored over the materials. "You're serious; you really want to go here."
The entrepreneur was indeed serious. Talk about taking me to places I've never been before -- he pulled out all the stops when it came to suggesting this. ON A THIRD DATE.
"Let's just go check it out," he pressed.
Then, my curiosity and extreme desire to be open-minded/ Sex Positive and accepting of all lifestyles got the best of me. And I'm young, and I lived in San Francisco for a while and went to the Folsom Street Fair when I was there and that was awkward but I lived, and when else am I ever going to go see anything like this?
I turned to him: "You know what? Fuck it. Let's go."
We had a quick talk about how we would not be joining any swinging couples in their activities and how if I told him I was uncomfortable, we would leave immediately. Then, our buzzer went off alerting us that our table was now ready for dinner.
"How on earth could you have a normal dinner conversation with him after the swingers' club stuff?!?!?!" Megan K. later asked when I was relating the tale of my date to her Saturday afternoon.
I'm not sure how, but we managed. We had a wonderfully interesting conversation over dinner (Side note: If you ever go to Cava, get their lamb sliders -- they were delicious!), wherein he gave me one of the best compliments I've ever gotten: "You're smart and articulate, and that's sexy as hell."
Oh yeah, I liked that one.
Beyond that, he's really easy to talk to! And in fact, one of the things we talked about is our overall expectations for a relationship and what we're looking for. At the table next to ours, a visibly unhappy couple was out for what was clearly a relationship-salvaging Date Night; they ate silently through most of their meal and at the end the only question exchanged was, "So what do you want to eat tomorrow?"
As soon as they left, the entrepreneur turned to me. "See that?" he said. "THAT is what I don't want."
I wholeheartedly agree.
We finished up our meal and joked around with our server, telling him what our plans were for the rest of the night. For what it's worth, he supported the idea, saying it was risky but would be something exciting and completely atypical. The entrepreneur and I grabbed a cab, and gave our driver the coordinates for the swingers' club.
|Just in case you want to go there.|
The Crucible is in an industrial park, right next door to a venue I believe is a gay strip club. So basically, mad shady. We walked in the door, paid the cover and went inside.
So what does the inside of a BDSM club look like, you might be wondering? Well, I'll tell you: IT IS EXCEEDINGLY AWKWARD. "Awkward high school prom" is how I keep describing it, actually. The main room was a big dance floor with the requisite flashing disco lights, and there were card tables set up all around the room with decorative confetti on them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Crucible does NOT serve alcohol. Or at least, it didn't on Friday night. And frankly, I could have used a GIGANTIC drink because of all the other people in that place.
What is wrong with the patrons of a BDSM club, you might be wondering next? Well, I'll show you. It's a point I've illustrated with some helpful charts.
For starters, let me say this. I often get questions about my overall appearance. And frankly, I think on a scale of Quasimodo to Christina Hendricks, I'm a fairly average-looking gal:
HOWEVER -- in a BDSM club, the bell curve is DECIDEDLY DIFFERENT:
Remember how I said it was an "awkward high school prom"? That's because all of the people in there looked like the CHAPERONES. Seriously, they were all in their 40s or 50s, fat and ugly. The entrepreneur and I were BY FAR the best-looking people in there. And we definitely got noticed by the herds, which made me INCREASINGLY uncomfortable!
We decided to look around a little bit more, and that led us to go upstairs to check out the second floor. If the downstairs was prom, the upstairs was a bordello. There were little areas of pillows everywhere, and there was a back hall with beds out in the open as well as a private room for people to go get it on. But apparently, in The Crucible, the word "private" is totally up for debate -- there was NO DOOR on this room, and inside there was a couple just blatantly having sex!
OMFG!!! I was in a state of shock. Again, I was trying to be open-minded, but it was extraordinarily hard to do!
The entrepreneur and I walked away from the hallway -- I just couldn't handle it -- and toward a little couch/pillow area. We took a "when in Rome" attitude at that point and made out for about 20 minutes. But when people started milling about way too close to us -- pretty sure they were trying to approach us for some group action -- I whispered in his ear, "You wanna get out of here?"
Thankfully, he was just as uncomfortable and ready to leave as I was.
We hurried back downstairs, where things had gone from awkward to just plain sad -- in the interim, they'd put out a spread of cookies, chips and dip, and various other finger foods, which made it feel even more like a terrible high school social event -- and slipped out the door.
Fortunately, we were able to catch a cab immediately, and we laughed the whole way back to my apartment about how horrifying the whole experience had been.
He came inside to keep talking and to finish off the bottle of wine I'd opened earlier in the evening. And we laughed some more, and kissed...
And with that, "expectation management" got chucked out the window. It was such a weird date, but somehow I feel like we bonded over the experience (and thank God he's not actually into that lifestyle, because I couldn't do it -- literally).
I really like this one, y'all.